Officiating chief Pereira to retire

NEW YORK -- Mike Pereira, who has headed the NFL's officiating department since 2001, will retire after the 2009 season.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that Pereira, who will turn 60 next year, told commissioner Roger Goodell after last season that next year would be his final one. He and his wife will return to his native northern California.

Pereira's retirement was first disclosed by Fox Sports.

Pereira has been one of the most open chiefs of officiating in NFL history. He has used technology, including a show on the NFL Network, to help explain decisions and talks regularly to the media, including a session at the annual NFL meetings that includes game tapes and quizzes.

He also sends out officiating tapes several times a year on both routine and controversial decisions.